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Colorectal Cancer Can Be Detected Early With a Blood Test

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Colorectal Cancer Can Be Detected Early With a Blood Test

(CTN News) – During an era when colorectal cancer is on the rise, a new study has found that the disease can be detected through blood tests.

Several clinical trials have demonstrated that the blood-based screening test detects 83% of people with colorectal cancer, according to a study published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine. As long as the FDA approves it, the blood test will serve as another tool for early detection of cancer.

It is possible to perform the test, which has been developed by Guardant Health, using a blood sample. Through the identification of circulating tumor DNA, the company claims that its test detects cancer signals in the bloodstream.

According to Dr. Barbara Jung, president of the American Gastroenterological Association, the test could lead to a reduction in colorectal cancer deaths due to early detection.

Rather than undergoing an invasive test, a blood draw would reach a greater number of individuals, she explains. In order to reach more people, I hope to have more tools available.

Although the blood test may be approved, it will not replace the dreaded colonoscopy. According to Jung, if the test results are positive, a colonoscopy will be performed as a next step. This is due to the fact that colonoscopies are capable of detecting precancerous lesions, which are called polyps.

As soon as these are found, they can also be removed, which in turn prevents the cancer from forming.” Jung adds.

It is recommended that regular screening begin at age 45 by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Nevertheless, approximately one in three eligible adults do not receive the recommended screening, according to the American Cancer Society.

Approximately 50 million eligible Americans do not receive recommended screenings for colorectal cancer, largely due to the inconvenience and unpleasant nature of current screening methods, according to Guardant Health CEO AmirAli Talasaz.

At present, stool tests and colonoscopies are effective screening methods.

“Getting screened has never been easier,” Dr. Levin, a gastroenterologist at Kaiser Permanente, told NPR in 2009.

In addition to blood in the stool, changes in bowel habits, weight loss without apparent cause, fatigue, and bloating are all symptoms of colorectal cancer. In case of symptoms, consult your physician.

Although young adults are more likely to develop colorectal cancer, the incidence has increased. There are approximately 20 000 cases of this disease diagnosed each year among Americans under the age of 50.

According to an American Cancer Society report published last year, the incidence of colon cancer has been increasing at an alarming rate. Under 50-year-olds have been affected by the disease by about 50% since the mid-1990s. It is one of the most deadly cancers in this age group.

The FDA has already approved Guardant Health’s product. Later this year, a decision is expected to be made.


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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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